In 2010, the world’s multinational corporations (MNCs) – which comprise parent enterprises and foreign affiliates – together accounted for one-quarter of global GDP; sales by their foreign affiliates totalled a staggering US$33trn and those affiliates employed 68m people.1
But behind the monolith, MNCs come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no lemming-like march towards any single location in search of growth. The next chapter for MNC globalisation: Scaling risk to opportunity, an Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by MAXIS GBN (a joint venture between global insurers MetLife and AXA), explores what is driving globalisation today, and asks MNCs what factors might facilitate or derail their global growth plans. The findings are based on an Economist Intelligence Unit survey of more than 350 executives at MNCs worldwide, along with in-depth interviews with executives at MNCs of differing sizes and industry segments, and in different geographic locations.
The research reveals some notable trends in the strategies used by MNCs to develop and execute their globalisation plans.
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1 World Investment Report 2011, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)